On November 10, 1993, the United States filed a lawsuit under Title VII against the city of Belleville and the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. The United States alleged that the city engaged in discriminatory employment ...
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On November 10, 1993, the United States filed a lawsuit under Title VII against the city of Belleville and the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. The United States alleged that the city engaged in discriminatory employment practices that had the purpose or effect of excluding African Americans from the police and fire work force and sought monetary and injunctive relief.
The United States specifically alleged that the defendant's use of written examinations in the hiring procedure and its methods of advertising disproportionately excluded blacks from employment. The United States also alleged that the City engaged in several discriminatory employment practices which had the purpose or effect of excluding women from the work force in violation of Title VII, including the use of physical performance examinations and weight and height requirements in the processing and selection of candidates for appointment to positions with the City of Belleville's police and fire departments.
On May 1, 1995, the United States and the defendant agreed to enter into a consent decree ordered by the district court (Judge Paul E. Riley). The decree stated that the City would implement a recruitment program designed to attract qualified black and female applicants for all employment positions. The consent decree also ordered the defendants to establish a $450,000 back pay settlement fund to be distributed to individuals identified by the United States as victims of the alleged discrimination and a $250,000 pension settlement fund to be distributed to the victims of the alleged discrimination who accept an offer of employment from the Defendants. The Defendants was further ordered to retain all necessary and relevant records concerning the implementation of the Decree and furnish bi-annual reports to the United States concerning employment decisions by the Defendants, and the Consent Decree will remain in effect for five years after the date of entry.
On August 8, 1995, the district court (Judge Riley) addressed specific objections to the consent decree. Teamsters Automotive, Petroleum and Allied Trades ("Local 50") objected that the collective bargaining agreements' seniority provisions would be significantly skewed by the Consent Decree. The City joined Local 50 by arguing that the retroactive seniority provisions in the Consent Decree will have an adverse impact on the seniority rights of current incumbents under the collective bargaining agreement of Local 50. Local 50 requested that the Court enter the Consent Decree without the competitive retroactive seniority provision. The district court (Judge Riley) granted the Plaintiff's motion for final entry of the Consent Decree over these objections.
On January 27, 2003, the district court (Judge G. Patrick Murphy) dissolved the consent decree after finding that the City had engaged in sufficient employment activity to assure their good faith in achieving the purposes of the Consent Decree. Furthermore, the Judge asserted that the responsibility to administer the police and fire department should be returned to local elected officials.Dana Schwarz - 11/08/2007